Power Division has taken special preparation to provide uninterrupted electricity supply to the rural areas for irrigation during the next Boro season.
Monwar Islam, secretary of Power division told the Dhaka Tribune that “We have taken special arrangements to provide uninterrupted electricity to rural areas from 11pm to 6am during (from January to May, 2014) the Boro season.”
Petrobangla also assured that more gas would be allocated to the power sector instead of fertiliser factories for ensuring irrigation in Boro fields across the country.
Hossain Monsur, chairman of Petrobangla, said: “We would be able to supply natural gas in line with the demand of power generation stations.”
The Power Division secretary said: “The Power Division has estimated the demand of about 1,700 megawatt (MW) of power for Boro irrigation in the coming season which would begin in January next year.”
In last year’s Boro season, the electricity demand for irrigation was 1,500MW.
He added that “It would be estimated that the country’s highest demand for power during next Boro irrigation season between January and May stands at 7,500MW which was about 7,000MW in the last season.”
“Five electricity distribution companies have received a total of 31,256 new applications for new power connections for irrigation. The new applicants demanded about 150MW of power.” he said.
The connections will be provided before the Boro cultivation season begins, a power division official said.
He said that the utilities would divert electricity from the urban areas to the Boro fields from 11pm to 7am during next Boro season.
He also ordered them not to provide irrigation connections to the areas which are overloaded now.
Power secretary advised them to take necessary preparations to ensure uninterrupted power supply during the irrigation period.
Power Division has so far provided electricity connections to about 13,000 irrigation pumps this year, raising the number of pumps to 308,600.
On the other hand, the Power Development Board demanded for 1100 million cubic feet of gas per day for grid-feeding power plants during Boro season to increase power generation from gas-fired plants.
Hossain Monsur, chairman of Petrobangla, said that they supplied over 900mmcfd gas to the power plants during the last Boro season. We will increase gas production by 100mmcfd by January.
“We have a plan to shut down fertiliser factories from March, 2014 to divert 250mmcfd of gas for power stations during the irrigation season,” an official of Petrobangla said.
He said Petrobangla is now allocating 700mmcfd of gas for power stations which would increase to 950mmcfd-1000mmcfd against the demand of 1100mmcfd during the irrigation period.
A Power Division official said the PDB would be able to produce around 7500MW of electricity against the demand of 8000MW during Boro irrigation period.
“If Petrobangla fails to supply sufficient gas then the electricity production would be maximum 70000MW during the irrigation season,” he said.